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NPCI and Fiserv join hands to develop credit card stack which could benefit RuPay

The stack will provide a digital user interface, push alerts for in-app transactions, and more.

nFiNi, a plug-and-pay RuPay credit card stack, will be rolled out by a collaboration between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and NASDAQ-listed fintech firm Fiserv, according to an Economic Times report. nFiNi’s application programming interface (API) will allow startups and banks to build credit card-based products on top of the RuPay rails, the report added. 

India has traditionally been a market where people prefer debit cards over credit cards. This roll-out can balance the scales in favour of credit cards. nFiNi streamlines the process of onboarding new customers into the credit card ecosystem and provides scalability which can then be leveraged by fintech players and banks.

The credit market is dominated by two international giants in Visa and Mastercard but RuPay stands to gain market share if this project is successful. RuPay’s market share will also be augmented by RBI’s ban on Mastercard, as this has triggered a migration of card-issuing banks to RuPay. 

What will this technology consist of? 

The stack will provide a digital user interface, push alerts for in-app transactions, mobile messaging app and SMS notifications, and simplify integration options and instant digital card provisioning, among other things, ET said in its report. The BaaS (banking-as-a-service) programme will cater primarily to new-to-bank-and-credit customers. 

The nFiNi platform will power RuPay cards (including National Common Mobility Card) by offering access to needed services through the NPCI network combined with cloud-based open API integrations from Fiserv, the Hindu Business Line reported.

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The programme is said to decrease the onboarding time through the services it offers which include a hosted card management system covering the transaction processing, open APIs, fraud, and risk management, and surround services to support card programmes, NDTV said.  

Trouble with card networks

RBI issued a mandate in 2018 directing all payments systems to store data of Indians within India to ensure the security of users’ data and access to the data in case of investigations. Most companies prompt complied except for a few. 

American Express and Diners Club were banned from issuing new cards for violating the 2018 rules this year. It was the first time that the central bank issued sanctions against card network companies and payment operators due to non-compliance with the data storage norms.

Mastercard was banned in July from issuing new cards after it was found that the company had not complied with guidelines laid down by the RBI. The company has now submitted a new audit report stating that it has complied with the guidelines. The RBi is said to be reviewing the compliance. 

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